Make Your Viewfinder

To make a simple viewfinder, get a piece of card the same shape as your drawing paper, although it does not need to be as large. Then draw two diagonals on it, and use these as guides to draw a rectangle in the middle, the same shape as the card itself. The exact size of the rectangle may need to be adjusted according to the distance you will be from your subject, but start with about 2 inches by 2.5 inches (5.0cms by 6.5cms).

Now cut out the rectangle with scissors or a craft knife, so that you have a viewfinder hole the same shape as your drawing paper.


To use your viewfinder, simply hold it in front of your subject and move it until the edges of the subject touch the edges of the viewfinder.

If your subject is very close, you may need to increase the size of the hole to be able to get it all in.

It is sometimes difficult to see both the subject and the edges of the viewfinder, but with a bit of experimentation you will find that it is a very useful tool.

So with some practice you should be able to see the spaces around objects as shapes in their own right and by drawing the spaces instead of the subject itself, you are more likely to be able to complete a good outline of it.

For some practice with your viewfinder, try some of these drawings, using the negative spaces around them.

Take some kitchen implements, and stand them up on a table so that you can clearly see their shape. Perhaps select a few and put them in a jar. Then using your viewfinder if necessary, study the shapes around the objects as negative spaces and start to draw them to create your objects.

Alternatively, find an interesting chair or a plant in a pot and do the same thing.

In fact, choose anything you like. You may even like to try this out with another person as the subject or a photograph of someone you know.

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